The ball and disinfecting equipment ahead of the English Premier League soccer match between Brighton and Burnley at the Falmer stadium in Brighton, England, Friday, Nov. 6, 2020. (Cath Ivill/Pool via AP)

EPL postpones another game but doesn’t want to pause season

EPL postpones another game but doesn’t want to pause season

LONDON — The Premier League made it clear it doesn’t intend to suspend the competition despite being forced to call off a second game this week amid concerns across England about a fast-spreading new variant of the coronavirus.

Fulham’s game at Tottenham had to be postponed on Wednesday, while the government’s tightening of coronavirus restrictions meant no Premier League stadiums will be allowed to have fans going forward.

But the league is resisting calls, including those from West Bromwich Albion manager Sam Allardyce, to suspend the competition for a second time during the pandemic. It was halted for 100 days from March to June last season during the first infection wave.

“The Premier League has not discussed pausing the season and has no plans to do so,” the league said. “The league continues to have confidence in its COVID-19 protocols to enable fixtures to be played as scheduled, and these protocols continue to have the full backing of government.

“With the health of players and staff the priority, the League is also fully supportive of how clubs are implementing the protocols and rules.”

Two days after coronavirus cases in the Manchester City squad led to its game at Everton being postponed on Monday, Fulham told the Premier League it could not play Tottenham because of an outbreak of coronavirus cases.

Fulham has had a “significant rise” in coronavirus cases and “a number of players showing symptoms” on Wednesday, according to the league. Fresh coronavirus testing will now take place at the club.

“The Premier League board has consulted its medical advisors and the decision to postpone the game has been taken as a precaution and with the health of players and staff as the priority,” the league said.

The Premier League on Tuesday reported its highest number of weekly positive cases: 18 after 1,479 tests on players and club staff from Dec. 21-27.

But Manchester City was able to resume first-team practice on Wednesday, two days after the training ground was closed, because new coronavirus testing revealed no new positive cases. Others, including players Gabriel Jesus and Kyle Walker, are continuing to isolate after contracting the coronavirus.

“Safety remains our number one priority, and the club will continue to proceed with great caution,” City said.

But the lack of clarity over how and when postponement calls are being reached has caused irritation among some clubs.

While waiting for a decision, Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho wrote a post on Instagram laced with sarcasm: “Match at 6 pm… We still don’t know if we play. Best league in the world.”

Across England, forms of lockdown are being re-imposed due to concerns about the spread of a more transmissible variant of COVID-19 that the government disclosed details of two weeks ago.

More than 50,000 cases were reported in a single day for the first time on Tuesday, and the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients has surpassed the first peak of the outbreak in April.


More AP soccer: and

Rob Harris, The Associated Press


Just Posted

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives at the 2021 budget in Edmonton, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021.
Kenney distances himself from caucus vote to turf dissidents with ‘personal agendas’

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is distancing himself from a decision… Continue reading

Patrons practice on a putting green as the Whitestone Bridge looms in the distance at Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in the Bronx borough of New York on Tuesday, May 4, 2021. Former President Donald Trump has a rich history of fighting back when he’s down and making others pay, and that’s exactly how he intends to deal with New York City over its plans to fire his company from running the city golf course. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Dump Trump? Kicking him off NYC golf course may not be easy

Trump Organization has been reeling after the Capitol riots

A photo illustration made December 14, 2012 in Montreal shows a computer in chains. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Irish health system says it’s targeted in ransomware attack

Health care systems have been a target before

Bo’s Bar and Grill owner Brennen Wowk said the hospitality industry is looking for more clarity from the province around what conditions must be met to allow for restaurants reopening. (Advocate file photo)
Frustated restaurant owners want to know government’s reopening plan

Restaurant owners feel they are in lockdown limbo

A used protective face mask is seen discarded on the ground in Vancouver, B.C. in May 2020. (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Medical exception letters required for Albertans who don’t wear masks in public areas

EDMONTON — Alberta has moved to close loopholes people might use as… Continue reading

Team Canada’s head coach Troy Ryan talks with players before the start of the of the Rivalry Series at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, February 3, 2020. Ryan of Spryfield, N.S., has been named head coach of Canada’s women’s hockey team for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Troy Ryan to coach Canadian women’s hockey team in 2022 Winter Olympics

Ryan was Canada’s assistant coach from 2016 to 2019

FILE- In this April 19, 2021, file photo, people wearing masks as a precaution against the coronavirus wait to test for COVID-19 at a hospital in Hyderabad, India. Misinformation about the coronavirus is surging in India as the death toll from COVID-19 rises. Fueled by anguish, distrust and political polarization, the claims are further compounding India’s crisis. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A, File)
Misinformation surges amid India’s COVID-19 calamity

Distrust of Western vaccines and health care also driving misinformation

FILE - In this Friday March 6, 2020, file photo, Britain’s Prince Harry visits the Silverstone Circuit, in Towcester, England. In an episode of the “Armchair Expert” podcast broadcast Thursday, May 13, 2021, Prince Harry compared his royal experience to being on “The Truman Show” and “living in a zoo.” (Peter Nicholls/Pool Photo via AP, File)
Prince Harry thought about quitting royal life in his 20s

Feared his family would have to deal with the same spotlight that was on his late mother

Mental health: Gossiping, backbiting and forming factions is unhealthy

We all know of dysfunctional organizations, which can be as troublesome as… Continue reading

Family practice physician Christina Tuomi, D.O., (right) gets Homer's first dose of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine from Emergency Department nurse Steve Hughes (left) on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020 at South Peninsula Hospital in Homer, Alaska. Tuomi has been the hospital's medical lead throughout the pandemic. (Photo courtesy Derotha Ferraro/South Peninsula Hospital)
Alberta physicians: Vaccines are our path forward

As the AMA representatives for Alberta’s family physicians, we were immensely relieved… Continue reading

Vancouver Canucks' Nils Hoglander, right, is checked by Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom during third-period NHL hockey action in Calgary, Thursday, May 13, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Lindholm, Tkachuk lead Calgary Flames in 4-1 win over Vancouver Canucks

Lindholm, Tkachuk lead Calgary Flames in 4-1 win over Vancouver Canucks

Most Read